Big innings help Boardman win 10-U district title
By Dan Hiner
For the second consecutive night a big inning by Boardman led to a win in the District 2 10-U baseball championship.
Boardman actually had two big innings in a 13-10 win over Poland on Friday at Fields of Dreams. The win also gives Boardman a berth into the state tournament in Cambridge on July 28.
Boardman used a seven-run inning on Thursday to force one last game for the title. It followed with four- and six-run innings on Friday.
Anthony Groner drove in Ryan Smith with an RBI single to left field in the top of the first, giving Boardman a 1-0 lead.
Ryan Smith drove in Connor Boots with a bases-loaded single in the top of the third to began the first big inning for Boardman.
Groner reached first and drove in a run on an error by Poland and Ryan Smith scored later by stealing home. Patrick Young finished the scoring with an RBI groundout to give Boardman a 5-1 lead.
Groner led Boardman, going 2 for 3 with four RBIs and a run scored. Boots had drove in two runs while Nate Adams had an RBI double.
“I’m so happy we beat them two times,” Groner said. “Not a lot of teams do that.”
Boardman starter Vincent Butto got into a groove after giving up a run in the first, only allowing a walk in the next three innings.
But Butto worked himself into some trouble in the fifth.
After walks to Sean Zura and Anthony Delluomo, Kelley Memo hit a two-run double off Gabe Hammerton to cut the lead to 11-3. Memo scored after a fielding error by Boardman in the next at-bat.
But Poland wasn’t done.
Poland scored six runs in the sixth inning — three as a result of errors or pass balls. Memo had an RBI double in the inning and Delluomo drove in a run on a groundout.
Butto allowed three runs on two hits and three walks in 41/3 innings. He struck out three.
“Butto did what we needed him to do,” Boardman head coach Mike Smith said. “Came out, had a low pitch count, threw strikes and we made plays.”
Poland starter Joey Zucarro allowed seven runs, five earned, on seven hits and a walk while striking out six in 41/3 innings. Memo finished 2 for 4 with three RBIs and two runs scored.
Boardman needed to beat Poland twice to win the district. The Boardman 10-U team has now won the district the last three years.
Following the game, Mike Smith told his players that coming back to win the championship will help “build character” heading into the state tournament.
“We’re a nice, tight-knit community here in Boardman,” he said. For these kids to carry on and follow in the footsteps of friends, classmates ... it’s phenomenal.”